As a child, like most other children, I would go out the port with playmates and look at the freighters and yachts: some poised with their noses pointed towards the stars; others held in suspension fields and swarmed upon by maintenance automata.
Other boys would whisper the well-rehearsed specifications of renowned vessels: The Skybreak Splatterlight, The Nord Modular, The Levi 501. Like all boys the recitation of large numbers would fill us with a sense of security. I gave lip-service to this litany myself but somewhere beneath I preferred to see the starships as functionless; I preferred to look at them on the basis of purely sculptural values.
Abstracted away from the vast spaces of the port I could transport them into white-walled galleries, attended by dozing invigilators and unused plug sockets. I could picture them upon workbenches that were scored with the impacts of years of tool use, turned in the benevolent hands of a bricoleur squinting at their curves and lines trying to determine from which aspect they might be displayed to their best advantage.
It was less the incomprehensible numbers that expressed their performance that baffled me than the incomprehensible far places that were their ostensible destinations. My imagination always was, and perhaps always has remained, parochial. And even now that I have travelled to some of those far places, they have too rapidly been assimilated into my ever expanding sense of the banal.
As functionless objects they might have remained opaque in a manner that they never could as mere vehicles.
Recorded in Graz, December 2015, using a Teenage Engineering OP-1. Vocals overdubbed Hendon, August 2016, using the worst microphone you have ever seen.